The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-29

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Stint thy blame, man! ‘Twill drive to a passion without bound; * My fault is not so heavy as fault in it hast found. If true lover I become, then to me there cometh not * Save what happened unto many in the bygone stound. For wonderful is he and right worthy of our praise * Who from wiles of female wits kept him safe and kept him sound.” Hearing these words they marvelled with exceeding marvel, and she went from them to the Ifrit and, taking up his head on her thigh as before, said to them softly, “Now wend your ways and bear yourselves beyond the bounds of his malice.” So they fared forth saying either to other, “Allah! Allah!” and, “There be no Majesty and there be no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great; and with Him we seek refuge from women’s malice and sleight, for of a truth it hath no mate in might. Consider, O my brother, the ways of this marvellous lady with an Ifrit who is so much more powerful than we are. Now since there hath hap pened to him a greater mishap than that which befel us and which should bear us abundant consolation, so return we to our countries and capitals, and let us decide never to intermarry with womankind and presently we will show them what will be our action.” Thereupon they rode back to the tents of King Shahryar, which they reached on the morning of the third day; and, having mustered the Wazirs and Emirs, the Chamberlains and high officials, he gave a robe of honour to his Viceroy and issued orders for an immediate return to the city. There he sat him upon his throne and sending for the Chief Minister, the father of the two damsels who (Inshallah!) will presently be mentioned, he said, “I command thee to take my wife and smite her to death; for she hath broken her plight and her faith.” So he carried her to the place of execution and did her die. Then King Shahryar took brand in hand and repairing to the Serraglio slew all the concubines and their Mamelukes.[FN#20] He also sware himself by a binding oath that whatever wife he married he would abate her maidenhead at night and slay her next morning to make sure of his honour; “For,” said he, “there never was nor is there one chaste woman upon face of earth.” Then Shah Zaman prayed for permission to fare homewards; and